Positano: Vacation Part 5

With a 5 (or 6 or 7) part vacation, you would think we were there for a month.  We just had a lot we wanted to see, and we were feeling ambitious.  You may or may not remember that our last stop before Positano was Modena, with a seven-hour drive between the two.  We planned the trip thinking all of our Ferrari adventures in Modena would be finished in one day, and we would leave early the next day.  Our early departure turned into a 3 or 4 PM departure, thanks to my fine navigational skills the day before and a rescheduled Ferrari tour.  Leaving at 3 wouldn’t be a problem if our hotel had late-night check-in.  Our hotel didn’t have late-night check-in.

It’s kind of a long story from there.  We drove as quickly as we could, and we arrived around 11 after attempting to contact Wanda with marginal success to beg her to let us check in late.  She didn’t feel comfortable speaking English, but to her credit, she stayed for a long time even though she didn’t know what we were saying.  I think we missed her by about 15 minutes or less.

The long version of the story includes a detailed account of me accidentally stalking the inhabitant of the first floor apartment and us trying to figure out which balcony would be ours.  You know, just in case Scott could climb onto the balcony and break in from outside without actually breaking in.  Neither option worked, so we ended up sleeping in the car until sunrise.  Ta da!  That’s the short version of the story.

We trekked back up the hill first thing in the morning to Wanda’s Casa and checked in for a nap and a shower.  We loved our hotel, even if we were only there for two hours.  Wanda was friendly and apologetic, and we would go back in a heartbeat.  But we would definitely get there earlier for check-in.

The good news?  Well, other than really liking Wanda (whose real name we did know for a few hours), we did get to wake up in the car with this view:

IMG_0365After our nap, we felt pretty darn human again, and we moved on to more traditional vacation adventures.  Like admiring the local pottery/planters:

IMG_0369And this little alley:

IMG_0387And this:

IMG_0377The waiter at Buca di Bacco seated us at the very same table we ate at three years earlier on the first night of our European honeymoon adventure (even without any plotting or requesting on our part).  It was still delicious, and the view was still wonderful.

Then we started the hike we took on said honeymoon.  We knew finishing that hike would be impossible.  It’s supposedly a 4-hour hike that we somehow stretched into 7 hours.  I think we added an extra vertical piece of hiking and some extra mileage at the end.  Or something.  We aren’t that slow, but we knew ahead of time it would be an abbreviated hike.

IMG_0388My pizza belly didn’t want to go up there.

IMG_0398But it did.

I may or may not have harassed Scott on the hike, because I was kind of terrified that we would miss the last ferry to Capri for that night’s hotel reservation.  Yeah, I definitely harassed Scott.  Poor Scott.  The good news is that we made the ferry with at least 10 minutes to spare.  Whew.

And we said goodbye to Positano for the day.

IMG_0425Bye, Positano!

Cars ‘n Things in Modena (Vacation Part 4)

Okay, let’s pretend that it’s early September in Italy.  (I finally emailed myself a few more vacation photos, so it’s time for another step in the vacation saga.)  We’ve visited Switzerland briefly.  We’ve hiked through 4/5 of the Cinque Terre.  We’ve eaten a ton of good food.

Now it’s on to Modena.   We made it from the Cinque Terre to Modena with relatively few bumps along the way.  We were an hour early for our tour appointment.  An hour early!  Do you know how insanely early that is for us?  It’s like being a day early for most people.

Anyway, we were an hour early at the wrong location.  We had a big day planned, which included a tour at the Ferraro factory in Maranello, a visit to the Ferrari museum in Maranello, a test drive of a Ferrari in Maranello, and a visit to the other Ferrari museum in Modeno.  We knew that we went to the wrong museum first, but it’s a 20-minute drive from one museum to the other, so we figured we would go to the easy to find one, get directions for the hard to find location, and avoid getting lost and frustrated.

Except that we ended up getting lost and frustrated.  There were roads under construction and therefore not in use.  There were maps that were so fuzzy that I could only make out one word in 50.  There were lots and lots of roads with no signage.  It wasn’t pretty.  So much for that tour appointment.  We rescheduled it for the same time the next day (earliest option), tried to get over the intense feelings of frustration and sadness that happened as a result of our hour in the car trying madly to get to the right museum, and looked at some pretty cars in museums.

I’m not a car buff, but even I was awed by some of the cars.  Their designs were so beautiful, and the thought that went into each part to make it a stronger, faster vehicle is pretty impressive.

As usual, there was some good Italian food for dinner, followed by a walk around town.  Only this time, our walk around town ran us right into the outdoor rehearsal for an opera program that was taking place the next night.  It was some kind of program that included all Pavarotti music.

It was so much fun!  I think I might actually prefer the rehearsal to the formal program.  We got to hear the director stop songs to make changes and got to see the musicians goof around a teeny tiny bit (they were pretty professional).  It was definitely more relaxed that way, and it was beautiful music.  Beautiful and relaxed is just right in my book.  All in all, I highly recommend bumping into outdoor opera rehearsals whenever possible.

As you can tell, we survived the day of not going on our tour and woke up the next day all excited about fixing our mistake and enjoying some awesome cars.  We were so on time for that tour.

We also saved Scott’s super awesome birthday fun for the second day of cars.  He test drove a Ferrari, and he liked it a lot.  This is us pretending to be fancy before the test drive.  You know, just about to go for a drive on a sunny day in our ridiculously nice car:

see-through car parts

photo by Pit Lane photographer folks

Still with the Sunday drive pretending:

sideways fun

photo by Pit Lane photographer folks

Then Scott got down to the business of almost driving:

lookin' hard

photo by Pit Lane photographer folks

Then he gained a co-pilot (also known as Alessandro, the guy who told him where to turn and when to slow down):

gettin to the good stuff

photo by Pit Lane photographer folks

And moved towards an actual road:

good stuff 1

photo by Pit Lane photographer folks

Put on his best, most serious driving face:

serious face

photo by Pit Lane photographer folks

And he proceeded to have a really fantastic time driving too fast through small towns in Italy.  We all lived happily ever after (or at least until our drive to Positano).  But that’s another adventure.